From the Pen of the Principal
Dear Parents and Carers
Do you have a family dog? If so, does your dog behave in any way like my dog whose name is Whiskey? Many times each evening Whiskey will make his way to the back door and sit facing it and gently tap his paw on the glass sliding door. This is his non-verbal message that he wishes to go outside. Once the door is opened for him, he shoots out, then, within a minute or two, he is back at the door tapping to come back in. After a while and a half dozen exits and re-entries, I will get sick of the game and his indecision and decide for him. Depending on the mood I am in, I either ignore him and leave him out in the darkness or pull him into the room before closing the door and saying, 'that's enough.'
It is not only for pets that we are doorkeepers, but also for people as well. We are constantly going to the door of our life and pushing some people out and inviting others in. We determine that some people belong inside with us and that others don't. We do it as individuals, as communities, as nations. We divide people into friends or foes, saints or sinners, allies or adversaries. Those who are on our side are invited in; those who are on the opposite side are pushed out.
We live in an increasingly polarised world where, through our choice of the places where we gather our news, we can live in a bubble that reinforces our own point of view. This enables us to be tribal and only mix with those who share our worldview and label those who have a different point of view as wrong, evil, bad or inept. It can also mean that we can ignore groups altogether since they are perceived and labelled as not worthy to be part of our tribe. Refugees and asylum seekers, the homeless, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, members of the LBGTQIA community have all been on the receiving end of being 'left outside the door'.
Likewise, those facing poverty, insecurity and a lack of access to basic services across the earth have often been the forgotten ones or deemed to be the creators of their own problems. This Sunday 17th October is the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. According to the World Bank, between 88 and 115 million people are being pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic, with the majority of the new extreme poor being found in South Asian and Sub-Saharan countries where poverty rates are already high. By the end 2021, this number is expected to have risen to between 143 and 163 million. These 'new poor' will join the ranks of the 1.3 billion people already living in multidimensional and persistent poverty who saw their pre-existing deprivations aggravated during the global pandemic.
As we embark on the post-COVID recovery and getting back on track, many countries are talking of 'building back better.' But the message is clear from the people living in extreme poverty that they do not want a return to the past nor to build back to what it was before. They do not want a return to the endemic structural disadvantages and inequalities. Instead, people living in poverty propose to 'build forward.'
'Building forward' means transforming our relationship with nature, dismantling structures of discrimination that disadvantage people in poverty and building on the moral and legal framework of human rights that places human dignity at the heart of policy and action. 'Building forward' means not only that no one is left behind, but that people living in poverty are actively encouraged and supported to be in the front, engaging in informed and meaningful participation in decision-making processes that directly affect their lives. In 'building forward,' we need to let ourselves be enriched by the wealth of wisdom, energy and resourcefulness that people living in poverty can contribute to our communities, our societies and ultimately to our planet.
One of the great summary statements of our Christian faith that underlies everything that Jesus taught us about how to live together would have to be, “Do to others as you would have them do to you."
This was not a life principle that Jesus left behind for others to live; he lived it in his own life. In John's gospel, we find Jesus, a Jew, living in a land occupied by the Romans. The Romans had a distinct dislike for the Jews and the Jews returned the sentiment. Yet, when Jesus is asked to heal a Roman official's son, he does so immediately, no strings attached, no power plays, no political games. Jesus does not hold grudges, nor does he require obedience before demonstrating love. He cares for people regardless of their personality, position or possessions, their racial status, their rags or their riches.
In our own lives we all find it hard not to be “doorkeepers" when we first meet someone who's “different". Actually, if we look at each other we will see that God is rather fond of variety. We all have different fingerprints, DNA, a variety of blood types, voice sounds, body shapes and sizes. We look different and have a wide variety of gifts and talents. So, how are we when it comes to “Do unto others as you would have them do to you?" Do we respect other people for their life choices and not think that everyone should be like us? Most times the manner in which other people live emerges from what they were born into, in the same way we have a manner in which we live that has been influenced by our upbringing and circumstances. And how about our children? What do they perceive about life, through our attitudes and behaviours, as they progress through their formative years?
So, I get up, go to the door and sing out: 'Hey Whiskey! Okay little mate. Come in and I'll get you a treat.'
God, our Father, help us to focus on what unites us rather than what separates us or highlights our differences. Let the example of Jesus guide our view of the world and open our hearts to others, especially the poor and the marginalised. Amen
Peace and Best Wishes
Head of Primary Address – Mr Russell Davey
I would like to welcome back all families the final term of the 2021 school year and I look forward to the weeks ahead and the ongoing education of your children. In particular I would like welcome those families who are new to Xavier. We have seen consistent growth across the school in 2021 and this has continued as we enter into 2021. It has been very pleasing to see current students continuing the Xavier tradition of ensuring all new students feel welcomed and valued. As we begin the new term, I would like to highlight some key reminders/message for all parents.
Before School Duty – GOA
We have seen in recent times a gradual increase in the number of students being dropped to GOA before 8.00 am. Parents are reminded that no supervision is provided on site prior to 8.00 am and that no student should be onsite before this time unless they are being dropped by one of regularly scheduled busses. This will avoid any unnecessary accidents or situations where students are unsupervised.
There are a number of key events occurring in Term 4 and it is often difficult to stay up to date with all that is occurring. I would remind parents that on most occasions we will advertise major events via the parent portal (accessible via BCE connect app on your mobile), Facebook, the College Newsletter, and the display board at the front of the school. As always please do not hesitate to contact the school should you require any clarification regarding an upcoming event.
9-12 Years Swimming Carnival
The first of our two swimming carnivals will be held next Friday 22nd October. Lunch orders (should you wish to utilise) and championship nominations for the carnival can be both be found on QKR. My thanks to Mrs Logan and Mrs Love for their organisation of swimming in Term 4. We look forward to seeing our students in action in the pool!
School Shoes P-6
With the end of the year approaching, we have seen an increase in the number of shoes appearing with alternative colours displayed. I would remind all parents that students are required to wear plain black joggers. This can be difficult to achieve at times depending in what is available locally, however I would ask that parents ensure that shoes are predominantly black. This avoids any unnecessary issues or the need to purchase a replacement pair of shoes.
World Teachers Day – Friday 29th October
Friday 29th October is World Teachers Day. I would like to thank all our current staff for their contribution to our Xavier community and I look forward to recognising this day with my colleagues. We also have many parents in our community who are teachers, and I would like to take the opportunity to wish them a very Happy World Teacher's Day.
Head of School Secondary Address - Mr Chris Relf
Senior Celebration Evening
Next week our Senior Celebration Evening will be held on Wednesday 20 October, where we celebrate the successes of our Year 11 and 12 students.
The evening begins at 7.00pm and we ask that students are seated by 6.45pm. Attendance is compulsory for students in years 11-12 and students are required to wear their formal uniforms (hats not necessary).
During the evening we will recognise the range of activities that students have been involved in including:
Application and Effort
We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening.
Year 12 External Exams
We would like to wish our Year 12 students the very best for their exams and continue to offer our support right through their study and preparation period.
Day for Daniel Friday 29th October 2021
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation provides personal child safety education to children and young people to prevent abuse and promote lifelong health and wellbeing. They support educators, parents, and carers through the provision of resources and education and directly support young victims of crime. Parents are welcome to access these resources via this link. https://danielmorcombe.com.au
To support the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, we are asking students wear RED on Friday 29th October. This is a National Day of Action, where Australia unites to raise awareness of child protection and harm prevention.
To support the foundation, we ask students make a gold coin donation on the day or donate via QKR.
Photos of support will be published on the school's Facebook page and in the newsletter after the event.
Thanks for your support.
Students not continuing at Xavier next year
As our academic year draws to a close, we will be finalizing our enrolment numbers for 2022. If your family is moving out of Hervey Bay or if your children are not returning to Xavier in 2022, could you please contact our Enrolments Officer, Michelle Dougherty on 4197 1177 (select Option 3) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Primary Swimming Carnival 9-12yrs
Our Primary 9yrs to 12yrs Swimming Carnival is approaching quickly, next Friday the 22nd October at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre, this includes events for students born in 2009 - 2012. Students in year 3 (20012) and 7 (2009) if they would like to swim in championship swim they need to nominate (via Qkr) and be able to swim 50m in chosen swim stroke. Lunch orders meal deals need to be ordered. Parents and caregivers are welcome to come and support our swimmers but must stay out of student areas and must maintain social distancing to comply with COVID regulations.
Save the date… Christmas Book Fair is coming to Xavier in week 6!
We are excited to announce Scholastic Book Fair will be in the Library for 1 week only from Monday 8th November 2021. A fantastic variety of books, posters and stationery will be on sale before school from 8:10am and after school until 3:30pm (except Friday). Students will also visit Book Fair during their allocated Library class time. Cash, EFTPOS & QKR payments accepted. Book Fair is a wonderful way to celebrate reading and earn valuable resources for our school.
Dr 4 a Day
Charlotte Brydges recently attended the University of Queensland Dr 4 a Day Program. Charlotte was exposed to life as a medical student and was provided with hands-on opportunities to work as a 'Doctor' for a day in a busy simulated Emergency Department. Under the instruction of medical students Charlotte was able to assess, treat and undertake procedures on the 'patient' – a life like manikin that has features such as: the ability to cry, blink, bleed, speak and cough. Well done Charlotte.
Hervey Bay RSL School-based Apprenticeships/Traineeships (SAT)
The Hervey Bay RSL recently employed another 28 SAT's. Several Xavier students applied, and all applicants were successful in attaining a traineeship. We congratulate Bella Thom, Jett Wright, Conor Thomas, Rhys Jones, Annabella Spence and Toby Lynch who will be completing a Certificate III in Hospitality while Harrison McDonald was fortunate to be offered a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations.
Our students have been placed across several of the RSL workplaces including the Bayswater, The Club House, Hervey Bay RSL and Salt. We are extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity that the RSL offers to all students throughout the Fraser Coast every year. The students learn many employability skills throughout their traineeships. Skills include time management, communication, customer service, and organisational skills.
We are extremely proud of our school-based apprentices and trainees for pursuing and applying themselves in their chosen career path. It is rewarding to witness the growth and independence that comes from these experiences. We are confident that our SAT's are growing into competent life-long learners.
Congratulations to all!
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a very special project that Prep children have been a part of this year, with the support of Mrs Donnelly. This project is overseen by Samaritan's Purse- an international, interdenominational Christian Relief Organization. The Operation Christmas Child project encourages people of all ages, to fill shoe-boxes with school supplies, hygiene items, clothing, toys and small gifts. These boxes are delivered into the hands of children around the world, who are victims of war, persecution, poverty, disease and natural disasters. It is the largest children's project of its type in the world.
The Prep Teachers would like to thank the families who got involved in this project and who donated so generously. We are very proud to pass all of these gift on to make lots of children very happy this year.
Buthu Mission Week
So many children in developing countries love to play the game of soccer. It brings them such joy, and like our children, they have the most fun when they play with their friends. Soccer is the world's most popular sport and is played in almost every country in the world. It helps children to build a strong sense of community. Soccer has the rare power to bridge almost any divide, including gender, ability, ethnicity and religion. Soccer helps us to develop respect for other people, like our teammates and our opponents, as well as an appreciation for hard work and humility in both victory and defeat. Children in developing countries sometimes don't have access to the kinds of soccer balls we have here in Australia. They are talented and keen soccer players, just like many of you, and have a real desire to use what they can to make their own ball.
So we are going to give all our primary students an opportunity to use a sockball made from recycled materials during Buthu mission week, which is what many children use in developing countries, such as Thailand. Even Pope Francis used one as he was growing up. Our Preps – year 2's will use these in their PE lessons and in year 3 – 6 we are going to have an event during primary sport time on Friday the 29th October. Afterwards we encourage you to discuss with your child about how they felt using one of these sockballs and why children in other countries who are not so fortunate as us don't have the opportunity to go to school, to learn to read and write as well as to be able to play safely and make new friends without our support.
This year you can make an online donations for Socktober, the main fundraising event/challenge for Catholic Missions directly, anytime during the month of October. All you need to do to make a direct deposit is to go to the below Xavier Catholic College fundraising page with Catholic Mission and donate, for donations over $2 you will be sent a tax receipt directly by Catholic Mission.
Please support Buthu mission weeks activities and if you would like to make a tax deductable donation via the above link please do so today.
This term we raise much needed funds and awareness for Jesuit Mission. Jesuit Mission is the international development organisation of the Australian Jesuit Province, Jesuit Mission works with our most vulnerable sisters and brothers, empowering them to live full and free lives. Since the 1950s, when Australian Jesuit missionaries first went to India to serve communities in need, Jesuit Mission has put our faith into action to create meaningful change in the world. Today we continue this vital work where the need is greatest. As the mission in Hazaribag, India began to grow and become increasingly self-sufficient under the Indian Jesuits and their co-workers, the Australian Jesuits began to turn also to our regional neighbours in East Asia. Today, Jesuit Mission works in over ten countries in Asia and Africa, serving marginalised and disenfranchised people, often going where others will not go.
To find out more or to make a tax donation, go directly to the website. https://jesuitmission.org.au/donate/ Buthu Mission week fundraising supports our partners at Jesuit Mission.
Maths Pathway Semester 2
This semester students have been focusing on achieving 100% accuracy. For a student to achieve 100% accuracy they have mastered all the modules that had been assigned to them. We will still be acknowledging the students that achieve 200% + Growth Rate as this is also an excellent achievement each cycle. Year 7 students have completed two cycles this term and Year 8-10 have only completed one, so in the Growth Rate rocket there are quite a few Year 7 students that have achieved 200% + Growth in the two cycles. Well done.
QLD All Schools Touch Football - 13 Girls Make the Finals!
Last week, Xavier sent 6 teams to the QLD All Schools Touch Football competition. This year, the competition was held at the Gold Coast Performance Centre with over 6000 students, 400 teams from over 200 schools taking part. All Xavier teams performed strongly against a very high standard of opposition. The 13 Girls team, coached by Jenna White (2020 graduate) finished 2nd in their pool to progress to Finals Day – an amazing achievement. The girls lost to eventual runners-up, Cleveland in the Round of 16. 15 Girls were also a strong performing team, finishing 4th in their pool with very little separating 1st to 4th. All other teams performed strongly and represented Xavier with great distinction. All students are invited to attend a pizza break up lunch 1st break this Friday in Frankies.
Thank you to all parents for your ongoing support of Xavier Touch Football. Without your support, our season would not be the enriching experience it is always is.
Thank you to our wonderful coaches:
13 Girls – Jenna White
13 Boys – Tom Riggs
15 Girls – Chris Relf
15 Boys – Michael Tyrrell
Open Girls – Simone Collins
Open Boys – Paul Barker
We hope to see you all again in 2022.
Congratulations to our Y7-9 Xavier Wolves Basketball team on winning the Fraser Coast Inter-School Competition today. You all played incredibly well as a team all season, lifting each other up, dedicating yourselves to the group, having respect for all involved and enjoying the game.